Tuesday, February 26, 2008

3 Months....

Three months already? (Get used to me being surprised about where the time has gone - someday you'll hear me saying 27 already?!)

Today is Luke's 3 month birthday. And while I can't believe he is no longer the infant blob, I also can't remember what life was like before he was born. He is smiling, and now it's often in response to external stimulus. He coos and babbles like nobody's business. And he cries for about 10 seconds only when he really needs to be moved/held/fed/changed, or for the 30 seconds before he falls asleep. We all pretty much agree - he's an easy baby.

You want to hear the best thing? Nursing this little being. I know that not everyone likes or appreciates breastfeeding, but I am one who finds it to be a wonderful gift. And Luke loves to eat. So we're a good match. My favorite is when he's almost done, and he stops to look at me and just grins. It's like he's saying, "Hey, Mom, isn't this great? You holding me - good. Milk - good. Full belly - amazing. I could do this all day." And I can't look away from those big eyes and toothless grin. I melt, and fall in love all over again. And this happens 10 times a day. Does it get any better?

Monday, February 25, 2008

We're making it....

In my last post I talked about Dan returning to work - a day that I really was dreading. Heck, I kinda liked having the guy around. But, "vacation" has to end sometime, right?

Really, things have been pretty good. The boys and I have gotten out of the house by 9:00 each morning so far, whether it was for playgroup or Stroller Strides. And I have to admit it, but I didn't have high hopes for that. I'm pretty low maintenance and Luke just goes along with whatever - but mornings with Max are unpredictable. Some days he's ready and raring to go. But, more often than not, he'd rather just hang out in pjs and be held. And that can't happen if we are going to get out the door on time. But, for FOUR days, he has been rather agreeable, and we've managed to get dressed, pottied, have breakfast, pump milk for the freezer, start laundry and gather the diaper bag! I'm so proud of us!

The rest of the day flies by - and by the time Dan gets home (at a blessedly early 5:00), I'm wondering where yet another day has gone. It's all going so fast - each day, each week, and before I know it, my maternity leave will be over. March 31st (my sister Erin's due date, by the way) is my first day back in the classroom, and I need to use the week before to get lesson plans together. So soon. But, on a positive note, we may have found daycare for the boys!

And I will say this - with Dan back at work, the weekend has regained its meaning! It feels like a treat to have him home, and keeps all 7 days of the week from being quite so similar. Yup. We're making it - and we're going to try and enjoy every bit of time we've got.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So thankful...

First off - on a regular basis, my two year old busts out with some phrase that catches us by surprise, and usually has us rolling. I usually forget them - but today's was hilarious. He would be rambling on about something, come to the end of an idea, and wrap the whole thing up with, "And so it is." I mean, WHAT?! He's nuts - this one's right up there with, "Man overboard, the pirate said!"

But what I really wanted to write about today is how thankful I am for the wonderful man I married. For the last twelve weeks he has been home from work, to help us transition from a family of three to a family of four. Thanks to accrued sick leave and OFLA (Oregon Family Leave Act), he took time off from a job he loves to be immersed in the world of diaper changes and temper tantrums. And having him here has made every bit of difference in the world.

Because of his help, Max has been able to adjust to being a big brother. Because of his help, Luke has had a calm entrance to the world. And because of his help, I have been able to heal from surgery, cuddle my oldest, and learn all about this new addition to our hearts. I couldn't have survived this transition with out him.

I was reading The Pioneer Woman's blog today, and she wrote about how wonderfully amazing it is when you realize that the man that you fell in love with is an incredible father. How there is nothing sexier than your husband holding your child in his arms. And, you know, she's right. I lucked out. I didn't need the last twelve weeks to tell me this - but it sure was a great reminder.

Thanks, Dan.

*Yes, I know that they are his kids too, and that he has just as much responsibility for raising them as I do. But the fact that he gets that so completely is the point. 'Cause that isn't always the case.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Today we began the official interview process for a spring daycare provider. Last week I posted an ad on craigslist, and have been sorting through the replies to get down to the 4 or so that we are going to meet with. We were lucky to get quite a few nice replies, and I largely used location as a method to begin sorting - 45 minutes out of the way to work was just too much. The remaining "candidates" and I have exchanged several emails in order to see if rates, numbers, times, and the technical stuff lined up.

This morning we met with two nice women to discuss their respective home care situations. Both are very experienced, and have many references. They have different styles, and there are things that ideally we would change about either situation. Unfortunately, neither is perfect. But honestly, I'm not sure that "perfect" is out there for us right now. We meet another woman on Wednesday, and I have one to still make an appointment with tonight. If either of them isn't perfect, we have to figure out which one is the best fit.

How are you supposed to determine who is the right person to entrust with the most valuable parts of your life? No matter how many questions I ask or time I spend observing, there are still nagging questions in the back of my mind. And the news media horror stories sure don't help. I just want a guarantee that both boys will be happy, safe, and loved.

I wish that I enjoyed this process - that would make it easier. We really lucked out with Lauren, and nobody is as great as she is for our family. But, I have to go to work, and the boys have to stay with someone. I guess this is really what I need to be praying for right now - that God brings the right person in our lives, and that we have the wisdom to recognize them! Anyone else's prayers would be greatly appreciated, too!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

What a great weekend....

I don't know when it happened, but I am so glad it did! My parents will always be my parents, but some time over the last several years, they have also become my friends. If we're looking for a chance to get out of town, my parents' place is my first choice every time. Hanging out with them always makes for a great weekend.

This weekend we made the trip to Bend. Mom and Dad watched the boys Friday night so we could have our first date since Luke was born. Of course, we went and watched a movie (There Will Be Blood), and enjoyed just having a little time away. Then Saturday morning we got up and made the trip to the cabin.

In the short time my parents have had the cabin, it has become a real place for escape. I love to see the way they relax when they are there - and the time we spend there together feels more satisfying without the intrusion of our daily lives. Max loves it there, too. The last couple of times we have gone up there, there has been quite a bit of snow. He loves to play in it - but his version of play involves either shoveling the snow or just laying around in it.

This weekend Dan and Dad built a great snowman complete with a "moss"stache and Max's plastic carrot nose. They said they were building it for Max, but he barely even noticed it. I love watching my two favorite men interacting and enjoying each other's company. Lots of warm fuzzies, you know?

The rest of the time, we just hung out. Dad took me on my first little snowshoeing walk (great fun), Max played with the old My Little Ponies, Luke just smiled and cooed at "MeMa", Dan read, and we all played a little Wii. Relaxing.

It's time like this that I don't want to forget. When I get caught up in all the things I wish to be accomplishing, or chores that need to be done, life gets overwhelming. But times like this weekend - just spending the days with the people that you enjoy the most - that's what makes it all worth it. Those are the memories I want for my boys.

And if I am really lucky, someday maybe they'll want to just spend the weekend hanging out with their dad and I....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Trying to figure out...

It's really only within the last few months that I have really started reading blogs. Before I chalked them up to the same realm as MySpace and such - stuff I wasn't that interested in. I read a few scrapbooking blogs, but that was it.

I'm not sure exactly why that has changed, but it has. Right now, I just can't read enough. From the flashy to the simple, I love the glimpses into people's lives. My current fascination are crafting blogs - I love seeing the amazing things people are doing, and getting a little insight as to how they got there. Mom blogs are also great - especially those with a unique sense of humor and great writing voice. And cute kid pictures don't hurt. (Although to be honest, I am more interested in reading about the mom and how things are for her than post after post detailing the latest developmental milestone)

I think that I am in an information-gathering stage. I am needing a new creative outlet, but haven't found it yet. I see the amazing things others are doing and think, "Hey, I want to be good at that...", but haven't yet found my own individual outlet. I think I am needing to do a lot of sampling.

Now - where to start? More digital scrapbooking? necklace pendants? beadwork? quilting? cake decorating (although that could be bad for the diet!!)? painting? Maybe I just need to check out a few more blogs....

Friday, February 8, 2008

Full Brain.....

While life is technically pretty calm around here right now, I am having a hard time getting my brain to slow down enough to make a decent blog post. So, heck, why not just go with a list of the "tunes" stuck in my brain right now:

- Work is majorly stressing me out - and I'm not even there. It's not good to be getting emails from students that things are not working out with the sub. While I'm nowhere near ready to go back, I may have to go in a little for some "attitude adjustments".

- Still don't have daycare for the kids. I go back in a month and a half, and have no idea where they will be during the day. I almost cry just thinking about leaving them with a new stranger, so this leads me to avoid looking. I really need to get on it.

- Possibility of working half-time next year. Dan and I talked for a little while last night about the possibility of be going back to halftime, and the idea makes me so excited. Now i just need to start figuring out if we can make it a reality.

- Any great suggestions for keeping the two and a half year old in time out?

- Dan goes back to work in a week and a half. I have loved having us both home, without schedules. It has been amazing - I'm just not ready for it to end.

- Erin's baby is due in about 8 weeks. I won't be there. That sucks.

- David Lynch movies are not my thing. (Dan is watching Inland Empire right now)

So - there's where my brain is right now. Full. Frustrated. Overwhelmed. But, we'll get there.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Everyone said it would happen...

Yeah, sometimes I worry more than I should. My mom says that's when you know you are a mom. She's probably right - she usually is!

Before Luke was born, I worried that there wasn't any way possible for me to love him as much as I love Max. I knew I would like him - but the love I have for Max is just so consuming. How could I have that for anyone else?

And honestly, there were times even in the first few weeks of Luke's life that I had the classic mommy nightmare: your house is on fire, and you only have time to rescue one child. Each time this nightmare happened, I grabbed Max, and only realized when I woke up that I hadn't even thought about grabbing Luke instead. Wow - that sounds even worse reading it than in my head!

But sometime over the last two months, things have shifted. I have completely fallen head-over-heels in love with my smiley little imp. Those moments when he lights up make me swoon, and the pitiful pout that comes when I walk away to do something breaks my heart. I don't love Max any less - I just love Luke just as much.

Everyone said this would happen - the whole "love multiplies" thing. And you know, they were right. Thank goodness!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Never enough time...

This weekend was my little sister's baby shower. She flew out from Ottawa so that we could have a family shower here in Oregon. We knew the time would go quickly, but I never imagined just how fast. Between hanging out with family, preparing for the shower, the shower itself, the Superbowl, and celebrating her birthday, flew by.

The boys love their time with family. Hanging out with my parents and sister, Max gets more attention than he can ask for, and they are wonderfully entertained by him. I have loved watching my parents become grandparents - they are so natural at it. We can't wait to watch them with my sister's baby girl, too.

The hardest part of the weekend was this morning when I had to say goodbye to my little sister. The next time I see her, she will be a mommy. I am so happy and nervous and excited for her. I would give anything to be there with her and for her. But, the last several years have also taught me that the more she does on her own, without my being the bossy big sister, the closer we become. She is such a strong person - and she just needs me to love her and be her best cheerleader. And with the miles between us, that's all I can be.

I am so lucky to have family that no matter how much time we have together, it never feels like enough....